La Fonda Antioqueña is one of those places best saved for a lazy Saturday when your body craves something warm, filling, and preferably fried to power you through. The portions at this East Hollywood spot are very generous, to say the least, and their white corn arepas, which can be a side dish or part of an entree, come nicely soft and charred on both sides. We love them on their own with just butter and slices of soft cheese, but outright demand them with a heaping plate of bandeja paisa. This dish comes with a mound of white rice, pinto beans, one very large steak, a long slice of crispy pork crackling, fried plantains, avocado, a fried egg, and (wait for it) a soft arepa to help scoop everything up. It’s one of those impressive displays of food that leave us wondering where to even begin, but we always return to the chewy arepa to dip into the warm beans or runny egg yolks.
We love the huge chicharron that’s deep-fried until ultra-crispy and are fans of the steak that’s well seasoned and nicely charred. But the plantains and fried egg are what really make this plate so indulgent, and we can’t help but mop up the runny yolk and beans with the chewy white corn arepa. There’s also rice and pinto beans if the rest of the platter wasn’t enough.
This massive, scored chicharron is very impressive looking with its crackly edges and little fried pockets of buttery fat that contrast with the layer of meat that resembles salty jerky. Spritz some lemon on top for an acidic kick that brightens everything up.
La Fonda’s simple white corn arepas are best used for dipping into beans or other saucy menu items between bites. We love these as a side dish or as something to snack on before diving into wedges of crispy chicharron.
These corn-based empanadas are good as is, but the vinegary green onion salsa on the side is what takes them to the next level. The dough’s natural sweetness and the ground beef filling really pop the moment they receive a spritz of lemon and a generous dousing of that excellent salsa verde.